On their first night in Sin City, the Monks of Mellonwah were given Hugh Hefner’s 10,000-square-foot suite at The Palms Las Vegas, complete with an indoor-outdoor infinity pool, because there were no other available rooms. But the Australian alt-rockers – guitarist Joe de la Hoyde and bassist, brother John, drummer Josh Baissari and lead vocalist Vikran Kaushik – didn’t go to throw a Playmate party. The foursome is recording their full-length debut – due out around March – with legendary producer Keith Olsen, whose credits include Ozzy Osbourne and the Grateful Dead.
“I don’t think I’ve seen daylight in the past four days that we’ve been tracking,” lead guitarist Joe de la Hoyde says. “[The album] is coming together slowly but it should be epic. We’ve evolved a lot as a band since we began three years ago.”
The other main objective of their visit to America: Their first U.S. tour, which includes a stop at Jose’s Underground Lounge on Saturday.
De la Hoyde says the few shows they’ve played in the States so far have been received well – the quartet even won “Best Indie Rock Band” at the Artists in Music Awards in L.A. after a radio DJ saw them play at the Key Club in Los Angeles.
MOM’s good fortune continues: “Neverending Spirit,” the single off their EP Neurogenesis, recently earned a spot on MTV’s rotation. Elements of the personal tune – inspired by the death of de la Hoyde’s grandfather – vibe with Red Hot Chili Peppers “Californication” instrumentation. Meanwhile, the album closer “You Shine” is a futuristic composition of blissed-out ambience directed by Kaushik’s reverberated vocals, steered to a land where dreams come true.
“If you asked me what my dreams were when the band started out,” de la Hoyde says, “I would have said it was to tour the U.S. and be on MTV.”
MONKS OF MELLONWAH, ILLFUSION, CITYSIN ANGELS and RAW perform starting 9pm Saturday, Dec. 1, at Jose’s Underground Lounge, 638 Wave St., Monterey. $5. 655-4419.